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Arizona ObamaCare Stories, Week of March 3, 2014

March 25, 2014

AZ ObamaCare Stories, Week of March 3, 2014

Thanks to everyone who sent their stories to AFP-Arizona director Tom Jenney in response to our email alert the week of March 3. Here is a selection of those stories:

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Hi Tom,

Obamacare has affected my wife and I financially. We both work for [the County]. I am retired military and both my wife and I waive healthcare provided by our employer choosing to use our military healthcare, TRICARE, to cover our medical needs. I pay TRICARE a quarterly premium to enjoy their “Prime” benefits, which includes access to military doctors and clinics.

The County used to pay my wife and I $50.00 each every pay period that we waived their coverage. The stipend was paid to encourage those that could go elsewhere for healthcare to do so in order to reduce the risk to the County’s program, which is a self-funded plan.

Under Obamacare, the stipend became illegal and was ended for my wife and I, which cost us a total of $200 per month. We have never fully recovered from that loss as government wages have been frozen for five years now.

So now our annual take home pay is $2,400 less than it was thanks to Obamacare.

–Gary
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Hello Tom,

I sure will tell you my story. My family health insurance was cancelled by BCBS of Arizona after obamacare was instituted. I lost my full time job due to company downsizing and I could only afford a plan that covered major medical. I had a $3500 deductible with BCBS. Now it is worse. I found a family plan to replace it but it also has a very large deductible of $3000 per person. I don’t know where I will get the money if I have to pay that large deductible. No thanks to obamacare!!! My former health insurance was covering everything just fine. We need tort reform in this country not a government takeover of our health coverage.

Every Senator that voted for this bill should be voted out and Obama needs to be impeached for his treasonous acts against America and the citizens of this great country.

Keep fighting the good fight,

–John
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Hi Tom:

I am a self-employed Realtor. I went through an agent to see what my insurance plan would cost … $700 a month with minimal coverage. NO WAY can I do that. So I will get fined… Thank you government. I have catastrophic coverage if I break a leg – but they [Obama’s HHS] are saying that doesn’t count as coverage.

–Lorna
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I had a non-grandfathered plan with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of AZ that was to be cancelled. The closest comparable plan with them would have cost over $700 monthly. My exisiting plan was $169.

– Gary
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Hello Tom!

A single female friend of mine had an individual HCI plan and was paying a premium of about $199 per month. Last fall she received a notice that her policy would be canceled. She then checked out the ACA site and found that for a similar plan, she would have to pay about $400 per month and it has an $8,000 deductible. She might as well self-insure and that’s exactly what she is going. She recently had a doctor’s appointment and paid the $90 for the service, much cheaper than the ACA! If you would like to speak with her, please let me know and I will contact her. She lives close to the Arrowhead Mall to the West of the 101.

I also know someone whose aunt is being hurt. Her aunt had insured both herself and her son for about $50 per month. Under the ACA, she would have to pay about $200 per month which she cannot afford.

In both cases, they were happy with their plans.

I won’t even go to that website. I am self-insured and have no plans to acquire HCI.

–Suzie
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How about our doctor closing her medical practice after 21 years due to Obamacare and rising costs with lower reimbursements? We don’t have it as bad as others – my husband is on Medicare and we do have an excellent medi-gap policy for him. I have a health savings account and will hope it remains constant for the next several years.

–Nancy
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I work for [Big Company]. I have always had high quality, affordable insurance through my employer. This year, for the first time, I am required to pay an annual deductible of $1500. My copays have gone up considerably. I used to pay $100 for a hospital stay, now I pay that plus 10% of my hospital bill. My employer states that these changes are a direct result of ObamaCare — and that they will get worse due to future ObamaCare mandates.

–Karl
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Dear Mr. Jenney,

I lost my surgeon at UCLA, whom I’ve seen for my artificial hip for many years and he quit and left UCLA, because of Obamacare.

Sincerely, Brigitte
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I have medical insurance, but no one else in my family does. I can’t afford it because we still like living indoors. That was the decision I had to make. The cost of premiums would be my mortgage. Not worth it. We’ll take the penalty instead. Not that I think it would matter. With a deductible of $1500, it wouldn’t help anyway. When my son broke his arm, the bills came to about $1200, so why pay a monthly premium of $1300? I don’t qualify for any of the programs because “my employer provides insurance for the family.” Can’t afford it, but I guess that’s just a minor detail.

I am without hope at this point.

–Heidi
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I am against Obamacare mainly because my rights of choice is taken away from me. I believe it is our right to choose to take our health into our own hands. I am 56 and most of my adult life I have gone without insurance. I have chosen alternative health care which isn’t covered under insurances anyway. I choose to not be subjected to yearly exams. I see that people’s lives are better when they are on regular medication, which has side effects that are sometimes worse than the original ailment. Obamacare takes away from the right to choose the healthcare we want. Thank you for your efforts to fight Obamacare.

–Sheila
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When I was looking for a primary care doctor to oversee my diabetes, etc.. I found at least three doctors no long took Medicare patients. I finally found a doctor and his office is overflowing. I do get to see him and he is good, but it is rush, rush, rush.

–DG
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Ok, here’s my story:

In the last year, many common generic prescription drugs have increased exponentially in price. For example, 5mg and 10mg prednisone have gone from $7-8 per 100 to $22-25; 1mg prednisone has gone to $80 per 100! Levothyroxin has gone from $7.21 per 100 to $30-35! Pravastatin has gone from $7.21 per 100 to over $50! Doxycylcine has gone from $9-10 to $470-500!

The pharmacy claims the pharmaceutical distributors claim there is a shortage that is causing the price increase.

My physician explains it more credibly: The reason for increased costs is disruption of the free market system. When drug companies and insurance companies are required to provide certain medications “for free” (birth control pills), do you think they are just going to take it on the chin and lose that money? Of course not! They are going to make up that money elsewhere. They are able to absorb that loss by increasing the cost of other medications. Therefore the costs of previously cheap medications (including prednisone, erythromycin, and doxycycline) have gone up exponentially. So by mandating the reduction of cost for some medications, they have caused an increase in the cost of other medications; so on average nothing has changed…. Except who is actually paying for it. The drug companies and insurance companies are still making a profit (and they always will… no one goes into business to not make a profit). You can’t outsmart supply and demand.

In addition, we find that the Medicare “coverage gap” being at a lower dollar amount, even though prescription drugs costs have skyrocketed.

G-d save us from ObamaCare, because our elected officials refuse to do so.

–CD

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